Countdown to the Physical Rights of Access and Education - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Countdown to the Physical Rights of Access and Education. Presented by Paul Brown Director, Scottish Disability Team and Tom Lister Associates People Friendly Design

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Countdown to the Physical Rights of Access and Education

Presented by

Paul Brown

Director, Scottish Disability Team


Tom Lister Associates

People Friendly Design

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Countdown to the Physical Rights of Access and Education


  • To assist participants to devise a framework within which to prioritise activities and implement actions in the lead-up to September 2005.

  • To provide participants with a brief recap on the DDA Part IV, and to more fully discuss the Building Regulations, BSE8 300 and good practice in relation to these.

  • To provide participants with resources to utilise in their planning and activities during the coming year.

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

  • Institutions have a duty not to discriminate against a disabled person for a reason related to his/her disability and without justification

  • Discrimination can occur through

    - Less favourable treatment

    - Failure to make reasonable adjustment

  • Anticipatory reasonable adjustments

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

What activities and facilities does the Act apply to?

The Act covers all aspects of the physical environment, including, for example:

  • Access to buildings, such as level or ramped entry

  • Emergency evacuation arrangements, such as flashing light fire alarms or vibrating pagers for deaf people, fire refuges or alternative escapes routes for people with mobility impairments

  • The accessibility of external paths and landscaping

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

What activities and facilities does the

Act apply to? cont’d

  • Circulation within buildings, including their interior layout

  • Effective lighting and signage and colour or tone contrast on doors etc to aid orientation

  • Acoustics appropriate for hearing aid users and (working) loop systems in lecture theatres or reception desks

  • Desk, laboratory benches, work surfaces and reception desks at varying or flexible heights

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

What activities and facilities does the

Act apply to? cont’d

  • Appropriate seating

  • Access to services, such as catering facilities, or payphones in a corridor

  • Accessible toilets

  • Convenient and reserved parking spaces for those who need them

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

What is a reasonable adjustment?

  • Any action that helps to alleviate a ‘substantial disadvantage’. It might include:

  • Changing standard procedures

  • Adapting the curriculum, electronic or other materials

  • Providing additional services (sign language, interpreters or materials in Braille)

  • Training staff to work with disabled people and to provide appropriate adjustments

  • Altering the physical environment

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Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) Part IV

Reasonable adjustments need to be:

  • Agreed

  • Communicated

  • Resourced

  • Developed and reviewed

  • Anticipated

  • Publicised

  • Defended!!!

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  • Legislation

  • Good Practice

  • Planning to Improve Access

  • Case study

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From October 1999

Duty to make reasonable adjustments

  • auxiliary aid or service

  • change policy procedure or practice

  • alternative provision

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From October 2004

Duty to:

  • remove the feature

  • alter it so it no longer presents a barrier

  • provide a reasonable means of avoiding the physical feature

  • provide a reasonable alternative provision.

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  • 2002 - Main section of the legislation

  • 2003 - Auxiliary aids and services

  • September 2005 - Physical features

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  • Finance

  • Time-scale

  • Legislation

  • Listed status

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Landlord’s Duties


  • Cannot discriminate unreasonably on the grounds of a persons disability.

  • No requirement to make physical changes

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Draft Disability Discrimination Bill

This Bill will extend a Landlord’s obligations under the DDA to include a duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies, practices and procedures and provide auxiliary aids and services, where reasonable, to enable a disabled person to rent a property and facilitate a disabled tenant’s enjoyment of the premises.

But no obligation to make physical changes.

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Building Regulations

10 year DDA exemption if a feature is compliant with the Regulations (England & Wales)

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Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations

Access and Facilities for disabled people:

  • Approach, car parking and entrance

  • Access and circulation within buildings

  • Use of buildings

  • Toilet facilities

  • Spectator seating

  • Access to dwellings

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Regulations v Good Practice

Regulations omit many essential guidelines:

  • pedestrian environment

  • external approach features, street furniture

  • signage

  • features - colour and contrast, lighting, acoustic quality

  • auxiliary aids, e.g. communication

  • physical bias rather than sensory

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Ironmongery; vision panels; manifestations; closers; holdbacks; automatic openers; mats; power assisted openers; security; locks; keypads; access controls; heights and colour contrast; windows; handles. Glare; blinds; curtains; soft furnishings; clocks. Information systems; switches; sockets; fixing heights; reaching distances; lecterns and controls; adjustments; screens; location visibility; sound assistive systems;

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Spaces for signers; lip speakers; video displays; notice boards; lighting; reflection; shadows; emergency lighting. Daylight; heating; ventilation; air conditioning; temperature control; background noise; vibration; décor materials and flooring; textures; colour contrast and acoustic properties; furniture design; handles; seat design

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Emergency alarms (visual and audible); video and text phones; public phones; storage; archives; filing; shop layout; price display; restaurant; food/menu display; vending machines; toilets and showers; water temperature, alarm location; flush handles; paper towel; sanitary vending/disposal; room numbering; visitors book; complaints; comments

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Art; labelling; tactile displays; plants/landscaping; textures/tactile warnings; bollards; exterior lighting; crossings; bus stops; transport systems; route display; assistance dog provision; loan wheelchairs (powered) – charging points; signage; Braille; refuge signs; exit routes; emergency egress; security searches; metal detectors. Guided tours; building information in accessible formats; management and maintenance.

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All links important



car parking

pedestrian environment

route to building


people - staff

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Definition of a Physical Feature

  • Building Regulations taken as the benchmark of accessibility

  • However, aspects out with the scope of the Regulations open to interpretation e.g. signage

  • Public spaces do not fit into the Building Regulation definition.

  • Follow Good Practice to “Comply”

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Good Practice

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BS 8300: 2001

Code of practice for the design of the approach to buildings and the convenience their use by people with disabilities

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  • Location of parking bay

  • Identification of parking bays

  • Size of bays

  • Amount of parking provision

  • Security and management

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Pedestrian Navigation

  • Smooth surfaces

  • Define the route

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Drainage Gratings

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Navigation - level changes

Corduroy tactile warning surface - refer to DETR’s ‘Guidance on the use of TactilePaving Surfaces’.

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  • In prominent location

  • Identifiable

  • Less effort - more ease of use

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Highlight Glass

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  • Treatment of glazing

  • lighting

  • reflections

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Vertical Circulation - Stairs

  • Where do the steps start and end?

  • Contrasting nosings and risers

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Colour and Contrast

  • Colour needs to be used in conjunction with lighting

  • Colour can help define facilities

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  • Change in floor finish/colour to delineate route

  • Soft furnishings absorbs background sound

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Lighting and Contrast

  • Light source and levels

  • Transitions of light

  • The eye

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  • Reverberation and background noise

  • Induction loops

  • Infra-red systems

  • Compatibility

  • ‘Leakage’

  • Radio

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Means of Escape


  • Alarms

  • Egress Management

  • Exit Routes

  • Wayfinding

  • Refuges

  • Aids – intercoms

  • Evac-chairs

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Planning to Improve Access

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Service providers are more likely to be able to meet their duty to make reasonable adjustments if they:

  • audit physical and non physical barriers

  • make adjustments

  • provide staff training relevant to adjustments…

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...(Preparation continued)

  • draw adjustments to attention of disabled people

  • let disabled people know how to request assistance

  • regularly review the effectiveness of adjustments & act on findings of review

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Anticipatory Duty

Service providers must be proactive in considering how their services create problems for disabled people and consider reasonable remedial action.

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Continuing Duty

Monitor and review in the light of experience.

Evolving Duty

Not to be considered once and then forgotten. Technological developments may provide new or better solutions to the problems of inaccessible services.

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Existing Environments

Develop an access improvement strategy

 Access Audit

  • action plan for improvements

  • prioritising

    Work carried out during:

  • Planned Maintenance

  • Rolling Access Programme

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New Environments

  • Think Early

  • Access an integral part of the design concept

  • involve disabled people

  • access appraisals of plans regular part of process

  • Produce an Access Statement

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Access Statements

  • A living document which acts as the agenda for a dialogue between all stakeholders

  • In the briefing period the document sets out strategic objects for the building/alteration

  • As the design develops the document can be more specific

  • Considers management issues as well as the physical environment

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Access Statements

  • The statement can also be used to justify deviations from standards

  • Buy-in from all stakeholders

  • User focus

  • Puts the onus on designers to justify how their building/alteration will work in practice

  • The final version of the document should form part of the building operational documentation

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